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Search vehicle safety ratings.

NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings help consumers make smart decisions about safety 
when purchasing a vehicle. You can also search ratings by manufacturer.

Check your car seat's Ease of Use Ratings.

NHTSA’s Ease of Use Ratings let you compare how easy it is to use certain car seat features so you can make an informed decision about the right car seat.

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Check your tires.

Uniform Tire Quality Grading Systems (UTQGS) ratings allow 
consumers to compare tire features.

Buying a new car?

Purchase a vehicle with safety in mind. Use NHTSA's Vehicle Comparison Tool to see 5-Star Safety Ratings and recall information at a glance.

Timeline of NHTSA's
5-Star Safety Ratings program

Ratings standards and crash safety have advanced

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More stars mean safer cars.

The 5-Star Safety Ratings program evaluates how vehicles perform in crash tests. NHTSA conducts frontal, side and rollover tests because these types account for the majority of crashes on America's roadways.

Frontal Crash Test Scenario:

You are heading south on a two-lane road, while another vehicle is driving north on that street.The driver in the other vehicle starts to fall asleep at the wheel and veers into your lane. Suddenly, you collide head-on with the northbound vehicle.

Test Details
  • An average-size adult male in driver seat
  • A small-size adult female in front passenger seat
  • All dummies are secured with a seat belt
  • Represents crashes between two similar vehicles with same weight
  • A vehicle crashes into a fixed barrier at 35 mph
  • Evaluation of injury to the head, neck, chest, and femur (leg)
  • Frontal crash ratings must only be compared between vehicles from the same weight class (+/– 250lbs)
Side Barrier Crash Test Scenario:

You pull up to a four-way intersection and make a complete stop, look to your left and right and begin to accelerate into the intersection. Another vehicle approaches the same intersection, but doesn’t yield at the stop sign and hits your vehicle on the driver’s side.

Test Details
  • An average-size adult male in driver seat
  • A small-size adult female in rear passenger seat (driver’s side)
  • All dummies are secured with a seat belt
  • Represents an intersection type collision
  • A 3,015 lb moving barrier crashes at 38.5 mph into a standing vehicle
  • Evaluation of injury to the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis
  • For side barrier ratings, it is possible to compare all vehicles with each other
Side Pole Crash Test Scenario:

On a rainy afternoon, you’re driving down a curved street in your neighborhood. All of a sudden, you lose control of the vehicle. You start sliding on the road sideways and crash into a telephone pole on the driver’s side.

Test Details
  • A small-size adult female in driver seat
  • The dummy is secured with a seat belt
  • Vehicle, angled at 75 degrees, is pulled sideways at 20 mph into a 25cm diameter pole at the driver’s seating location
  • Evaluation of injury to the head, chest, lower spine, abdomen, pelvis
  • For side pole ratings, it is possible to compare all vehicles with each other
Rollover Resistance Test Scenario:

You’re driving your SUV on a 55 mph highway and suddenly you come upon a sharp curve. You try to navigate the curve, but you’re traveling too fast and losing control of your vehicle, and your vehicle departs the road and rolls over.

Static Stability Factor

The rollover resistance rating is based on an at-rest laboratory measurement known as the Static Stability Factor (SSF) that determines how “top-heavy” a vehicle is, and the results of a driving maneuver that tests whether a vehicle is vulnerable to tipping up on the road in a severe maneuver.

Recommended Driver Assistance Technologies

Look for vehicles with these driver assistance technologies. These features have met NHTSA performance tests.

Learn about driver assistance technologies

Other Safety Equipment

Other safety equipment provides protection and reliability on the road. When purchasing a vehicle, check for these features.

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) created the 5-Star Safety Ratings Program to provide consumers with information about the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles beyond what is required by Federal law. One star is the lowest rating; five stars is the highest. More stars equal safer cars.

Here is the list of model year 2023 vehicle models selected for crash testing under NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings Program.

Yes, other organizations test crash vehicles, but NHTSA is the only organization that rates rollover resistance, in addition to frontal and side crashworthiness.

Yes, some vehicle star ratings that were rated higher under the older Safety Ratings system may be lower under the new 5-Star Safety Ratings system. However, it does not mean that your current 4- or 5-star vehicle is unsafe. Due to more vigorous testing, a vehicle that once received 5 stars under the old system, may receive a lower score under the new system, even if no changes have been made to the model.

NHTSA’s 5-Star Ratings Program has a limited budget and must concentrate its ratings on front and side-impact crashes that are responsible for the highest percentage of deaths and serious injuries.

NHTSA categorizes vehicles by class and “curb” weight. Curb weight is the weight of a vehicle with standard equipment including the maximum capacity of fuel, oil, coolant, and air conditioning. Passenger cars are further subdivided.

  • Passenger cars mini (PC/Mi) (1,500–1,999 lbs.)
  • Passenger cars light (PC/L) (2,000–2,499 lbs.)
  • Passenger cars compact (PC/C) (2,500–2,999 lbs.)
  • Passenger cars medium (PC/Me) (3,000–3,499 lbs.)
  • Passenger cars heavy (PC/H) (3,500 lbs. and over )
  • Sport utility vehicles (SUV)
  • Pickup trucks (PU) Vans (VAN)

Side crash rating results can be compared across all classes because all vehicles are hit with the same force by the same moving barrier or pole.

Rollover ratings can also be compared across all classes. Frontal crash rating results can only be compared to other vehicles in the same class and whose weight is plus or minus 250 pounds of the vehicle being rated. This is because a frontal crash rating into a fixed barrier represents a crash between two vehicles of the same weight.

This symbol alerts consumers to a safety concern the government has about the vehicle. That concern can include: structural failure or some type of unintended performance of a vehicle component such as a fuel leakage or a door opening. Please note that safety concerns are NOT part of the calculation for an Overall Vehicle Score. A vehicle can have a high star rating, but still have a safety concern. However, if a safety concern is identified, the symbol will appear in the correct crash category and Overall Vehicle Score area.

Yes, NHTSA is constantly evaluating its New Car Assessment Program for updates. NHTSA prioritizes updates that have the greatest safety impact. NHTSA uses four prerequisites when considering updates to the program.

  1. Does the update address a significant safety need?
  2. Do vehicle designs exist for the update?
  3. Does the update have the potential to improve safety?
  4. Does an objective test procedure exist for the update?

Once the prerequisites for an update are met, NHTSA begins the updating process. 

  1. Request for comments notice published in the Federal Register
    • Solicits comments on a detailed proposal
  2. Receipt of public comments
    • Public submits comments to NHTSA
  3. Comments resolution process 
     NHTSA considers comments
    • Conducts additional research, if needed
  4. Is a supplemental public notice/request for comments needed?
    • If yes, repeat process and begin with step 1
    • If no, move to step 5
  5. Final decision notice published in the Federal Register
    • NHTSA responds to public comments
    • Final decision detailed, including lead time for changes and implementation

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